This meeting – held 50 years after the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem – intends to bring positive renewal to the relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The nine days of preparation will include individual and community prayer in holy places, as well as fasting and Eucharistic Adoration.
In the weeks that lead up to Pope Francis' visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel, the Catholics of the Holy Land are being invited to recite a special prayer asking the Lord that the Bishop of Rome's pilgrimage bear fruit for Christians around the world and for peaceful coexistence in all the Middle East. “Heavenly Father,” the prayer begins, “you never tire of being compassionate and loving. The successor of St. Peter plans to visit the Holy Land sanctified by your Son’s birth, baptism, teaching, death and resurrection. Be with him, sanctify him, and bless him. Spread the mantle of your kindness over every stage of his pilgrimage among us, that one may see in him a believing pilgrim, a wise teacher, and a humble leader”.